2008年3月16日 星期日

高克毅 (筆名喬志高)死去 George Kao; Writer-Translator



其中推薦亞瑟米勒(Arthur Miller, 1915-2005)的After the Fall,
(1964)宜翻譯為《失足之後》,因為這FALL 源於fall from grace (pp. 419-20):犯罪而失去上帝之恩寵……
我查一下,還有《墮落之後》(After the Fall‎,1964); 《失樂園》(After the Fall) 等等翻譯......


George Kao; Writer-Translator Helped Readers in China, U.S. Share Cultures

George Kao, 95, translated American classics such as
George Kao, 95, translated American classics such as "The Great Gatsby." (Family Photo - Family Photo)

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 7, 2008; Page B07

George Kao, 95, an author and translator who introduced Chinese readers to Jay Gatsby, Eugene Gant and other icons of American literature and who exposed American readers to Chinese wit and humor, died March 1 of pneumonia at the Mayflower Retirement Community in Winter Park, Fla. He maintained residences in Winter Park and Kensington.

His translations included American classics such as "The Great Gatsby," "Look Homeward, Angel" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night" as well as books of his own that demystified the vagaries of American-style English and the nation's culture.

"As one whose mother tongue is not English, I have had a none-too-private love affair with its American brand these many years," Mr. Kao wrote in a Washington Post letter to the editor in 1993. He noted that he started learning English at 8 and was still learning at 80-plus.

His letter gently chided Post columnist Colman McCarthy for having "dissed the robust and long-standing 'ain't' " in a column about a new edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

Mr. Kao wrote: "What lyrics would he have substituted for the popular Gershwin tune, 'It Ain't Necessarily So,' I wonder. And in what more emphatic way would he express himself, upon hearing that famous athletes have incomes in the seven figures, than to say, 'That ain't hay!' "

Mr. Kao was born in 1912 in Ann Arbor, Mich., where his parents were among the first group of the Boxer Rebellion indemnity scholarship students. The scholarships, compensation to the Chinese government for loss of life and property during the 1900 rebellion, allowed large numbers of young Chinese to study at U.S. colleges and universities.

His parents took him back to China when he was 3, and he grew up in Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai. He graduated in 1933 from Yenching University, an institution founded by American missionaries, and received a master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1935. In 1937, he received a master's from Columbia University, where he studied international relations.

"His whole life embodied the two cultures," said his son Jeffrey Yu-teh Kao. "He sincerely believed that the key to good translation was not just knowing the language but having an understanding of the people and culture behind the words."

From 1937 to 1947, he served in the New York headquarters of the Chinese news service, coordinating contacts and publications. In 1945, he attended the founding meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco as the information officer for the Chinese delegation.

From 1947 to 1949, he was director of the West Coast office of the Nationalist Chinese government's information agency and later editor in chief of "The Chinese Press." From 1951 to 1953, he was a supervisory instructor at the Monterey language institute. He moved to the Washington area in 1957 to become chief editor for the Voice of America's China broadcast.

Beginning in the 1960s, the Chinese reading public came to know Mr. Kao as the author of books and articles interpreting American popular culture. Books he wrote or edited include "Cathay by the Bay: San Francisco in 1950" (1988), "Two Writers and the Cultural Revolution: Lao She and Chen Jo-hsi" (1980) and "Chinese Wit and Humor" (1946).

The latter concept is not an oxymoron, literature scholar Michelle C. Sun wrote in a 2004 edition of "East-West Connections." She was convinced by Mr. Kao's argument that Taoism's influence in Chinese culture often expresses itself in subtle forms of humor that mock civil authority and Confucian puritanism.

Sun quoted Mr. Kao: "Chinese humor, to a greater degree than that of any other peoples, sees the ludicrous in the pathos of life. It is the result of a philosophical reaction to adversity coupled with innate optimism about the future."

After his retirement from the Voice of America in 1972, Mr. Kao was appointed visiting senior fellow at the new Chinese University of Hong Kong. There, he founded and served as the first editor of "Renditions," a journal devoted to translating classical and contemporary Chinese literature into English. He returned to Kensington in 1980.

In 1994, he co-edited with his brother, Irving K.Y. Kao, "A New Dictionary of Idiomatic American English," published by the Reader's Digest of Hong Kong. It was reissued in 2004 by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and republished in a mainland edition by the Peking University Press in 2006.

Mr. Kao's wife of 57 years, Maeching Li Kao, died in 2003.

Survivors, in addition to his brother of Ann Arbor and his son of Potomac, include another son, William Yu-wang Kao of Belfast, Maine; a sister, Laura Kao Loughridge of Gaithersburg; another brother, Edward Kao of Bowling Green, Ohio; and four grandchildren.

請參考之後在譯藝 的資訊
small talk 閑談, 世間話.

中國時報 2008.03.16 

故國情深 喬志高:中國未曾離開我

兩周前在美國南方佛羅里達州故世的名作家和翻譯大師高克毅 (筆名喬志高),晚年的日子是相當孤寂的,尤其是五年前他的夫人李梅卿去世後,加上他的同輩人多己經凋零殆盡。高先生的年齡雖是記者的父執輩,但因我們有共同的語言(中英文),想法也算接近,遂成忘年交,進而可以深入他的內心世界,而無話不談。  

論高克毅的英文造詣,對美國社會和文化的了解,不僅中國人無人能望其項背,即使美國的飽學之士,有時也瞠乎其後,無怪乎曾任台北美國新聞處長的司馬笑 (John Bortoff) 推崇高克毅是The ultimate intellectual (無法超越的知識分子),就筆者多年來對高先生的認識,此一讚語可說是恰如其分,實至名歸。  即使以高克毅這樣一位比美國人更美國的中國人,到頭來還是徹頭徹尾的中國人,特別是在文化的認同和情感的依歸上。  

過去十多年來他定居在一個完全是美國人的高級退休社 區,起初倒也其樂融融,可是近年同居一處的妹妹及夫人相繼謝世後,情形就大大不一樣了,到了他臨終前二年,甚至視去飯廳吃飯為畏途,飲菜不夠可口尚屬其 次,最難忍受的是和同桌的美國人說些言不及義的「小話」(small talk),為了不願受此折磨,後來他乾脆不去飯廳,而是叫每天來幫忙的女佣人把食物拿回居處單獨進食,免得和那些好心的鄰居們周旋而浪費時間。  

好在佛州炎夏時,他會回到住了大半生的華府近郊,初冬時再返回佛州,在這四、五個月期間,我常有機會和他見面並請益,除了我們共同喜好的中英文字問題之外,話題也涉及當代中國歷史和他接觸過的一些中外人物,如胡適、宋子文、葉公超、蔣廷黻、老舍、梁實秋、項美麗 (Emily Hahn,宋氏三姊妹一書的作者) 、威廉氏 (Maurice William,三民主義中提到批判馬克斯學說的美國人)、畢範宇 (Frank Price,把三民主義譯成英文的人) 等,這時我好像成了他的知音,讓他一吐胸中的積鬱,我不見得有和他一樣的感受,但至少是個好的 listener(聽眾),似乎能帶給他短暫的歡笑。  

當然有時也陪他一起上食物精美、情調優雅的西餐館或是他喜愛的「媽媽水餃」店,這時老先生若再能喝上一、兩杯調配得對口味的馬丁尼酒,即意興湍飛,話匣子一打開,可以從古典美人趙蘿蕤 (高老燕京大學同學) 一直談到才貌雙全的金聖華 (香港中文大學前翻譯系主任),高先生從不諱言他對聰明的美女情有獨鍾。  



高克毅沒有像錢學森一樣,認為這一經歷是奇恥大辱,從此恨美國入骨,一定要回中國湔雪前恥。抗戰勝利後,高確有回中國的想法與打算。可惜好景不常,等到一九四九年山河變色後,他已是有國難奔了,只好在美國作久居之計,這一住竟然逾半個世紀,以致於終老異鄉。  和高克毅有多年友誼的余英時教授,聽記者敘述高先生以上的故事後說:「幸好他沒有回中國,否則將是一場災難,遭遇不會比老舍好多少。」文革期間投湖自盡的老舍,一九四九年由美返回中國大陸,是高克毅在舊金山送他上船的,從此不通音問,直到老舍死亡。  


這位享譽海內外的中英雙語作家辭世前不久,用英文對記者說了一句發人深省的話。他說:“You can take me out of China, but you can never take China out of me.” 這句話是「你能讓我離開中國,卻永遠無法讓中國離開我。」